Forums > MaxMSP

Laptop for Audio Applications

March 5, 2007 | 9:14 pm

Greetings!

I’ll ask quite a silly question but I have to…
We’re about realise a live performance with huge real-time processing.
May you suggest a PC Laptop as mmm…"powerful" and "trustfull" enough for
handle this processing.
And some usefull tricks are also welcome!

I know is out of scope of this forum
but this benchmark stuff gives me the creeps.

Thanx for interest


March 5, 2007 | 10:21 pm

Do Macs count as PCs now?

> May you suggest a PC Laptop as mmm…"powerful" and "trustfull" enough for
> handle this processing.


March 5, 2007 | 11:02 pm

I’m with Jean on this one, if you can get a macbook pro, it just wont go wrong, otherwise I’ve heard of a few people using sony Vaeo’s – but as a mac user you know what i’d use ;)

T


March 6, 2007 | 12:07 pm


March 6, 2007 | 12:11 pm


March 6, 2007 | 2:28 pm



ico
March 6, 2007 | 2:34 pm

> Yes, they do.
> By the way, XP runs wonderfully over MacBookPros.

Technically, every personal computer is a PC (that’s exactly what PC stands
for). But saying that XP runs wonderfully is a bit of an overstatement. Yes,
bootcamp sort of works but not all drivers are there and the ones that are
behave funny. For instance, every time you either resume the machine, MBP
for some reason reinitializes all USB and a couple other drivers (hard to
know which when this happens on the login screen where I have no access to
the device manager–one thing I do know, it makes the machine literally hang
and then behave sluggish for the next few minutes). This may be due to the
way Apple does EFI->BIOS translation. Either way, the system is more
sluggish than it ought to be for a machine with bleeding edge specs.

While we’re at it, another (personal) frustration is that my MBP runs so hot
that you simply cannot keep it on your lap, period (in the case you are a
male user, if you have no intentions of having any offspring, I guess this
could be a kind of a feature, rather than a bug…). It is not that it is
uncomfortable. It is burning hot. The topside is only marginally better, but
after long use it makes my palm uncomfortable due to generated heat
(especially on the left side). Last but not least, if you buy a 15-inch MBP,
its video card (even though it is 1600x) is 30% down-clocked in software
(likely due to heat issues), so you are in essence getting a 1400x-ish card
performace.

NB: Both Windows and OSX have unsupported-may-kill-your-warranty-free OC-ing
software tools and while they can do the trick, I personally don’t feel
comfortable OC-ing a laptop that is already having serious heat issues.

Best wishes,

Ico


March 6, 2007 | 2:49 pm

I work with max a lot on both pc and mac. I have no personal preference for either but my experience is that max runs best on mac with mac os x. Max has unknown/unresolved bugs on both platforms, but less on mac os x. My guess is simply that ppl at cycling 74 use max on mac os more often than pc/windows.

Mac hardware guarantees that there are less combinations of different hardware and drivers that cycling didn’t test, so again less chance for bugs.

- Mattijs

Quote: ico wrote on Tue, 06 March 2007 15:34
—————————————————-
> > Yes, they do.
> > By the way, XP runs wonderfully over MacBookPros.
>
> Technically, every personal computer is a PC (that’s exactly what PC stands
> for). But saying that XP runs wonderfully is a bit of an overstatement. Yes,
> bootcamp sort of works but not all drivers are there and the ones that are
> behave funny. For instance, every time you either resume the machine, MBP
> for some reason reinitializes all USB and a couple other drivers (hard to
> know which when this happens on the login screen where I have no access to
> the device manager–one thing I do know, it makes the machine literally hang
> and then behave sluggish for the next few minutes). This may be due to the
> way Apple does EFI->BIOS translation. Either way, the system is more
> sluggish than it ought to be for a machine with bleeding edge specs.
>
> While we’re at it, another (personal) frustration is that my MBP runs so hot
> that you simply cannot keep it on your lap, period (in the case you are a
> male user, if you have no intentions of having any offspring, I guess this
> could be a kind of a feature, rather than a bug…). It is not that it is
> uncomfortable. It is burning hot. The topside is only marginally better, but
> after long use it makes my palm uncomfortable due to generated heat
> (especially on the left side). Last but not least, if you buy a 15-inch MBP,
> its video card (even though it is 1600x) is 30% down-clocked in software
> (likely due to heat issues), so you are in essence getting a 1400x-ish card
> performace.
>
> NB: Both Windows and OSX have unsupported-may-kill-your-warranty-free OC-ing
> software tools and while they can do the trick, I personally don’t feel
> comfortable OC-ing a laptop that is already having serious heat issues.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ico
>
>
—————————————————-


March 6, 2007 | 7:48 pm

No Mac
Unfortinatelly
Running Windoz
Im a man with a screwdriver
and theres stuff that I cant leave like lovely trackers

I think Vaio stuff is pretty expensive

More comments?


March 6, 2007 | 8:05 pm


March 6, 2007 | 8:06 pm

Hi Ico,
I see what you’re saying.
Let me ask you: what version of MBP do you own?
Do you know that some overheating problems with macbookpros can be solved
upgrading to the latest firmware?
—-
As regards resuming, I never do that. When I’ve finished working, I just
shut down the machine and that’s all. Never had problems.
Anyway I would be curious to know if it’s possible to upgrade the drivers of
the Ati x1600 using the pc version downloaded from Ati website.. (and this
also for the other components..)
Bye

Carlo

—– Original Message —–
From: "Ivica Ico Bukvic"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 3:34 PM
Subject: RE: [maxmsp] Laptop for Audio Applications

>> Yes, they do.
>> By the way, XP runs wonderfully over MacBookPros.
>
> Technically, every personal computer is a PC (that’s exactly what PC
> stands
> for). But saying that XP runs wonderfully is a bit of an overstatement.
> Yes,
> bootcamp sort of works but not all drivers are there and the ones that are
> behave funny. For instance, every time you either resume the machine, MBP
> for some reason reinitializes all USB and a couple other drivers (hard to
> know which when this happens on the login screen where I have no access to
> the device manager–one thing I do know, it makes the machine literally
> hang
> and then behave sluggish for the next few minutes). This may be due to the
> way Apple does EFI->BIOS translation. Either way, the system is more
> sluggish than it ought to be for a machine with bleeding edge specs.
>
> While we’re at it, another (personal) frustration is that my MBP runs so
> hot
> that you simply cannot keep it on your lap, period (in the case you are a
> male user, if you have no intentions of having any offspring, I guess this
> could be a kind of a feature, rather than a bug…). It is not that it is
> uncomfortable. It is burning hot. The topside is only marginally better,
> but
> after long use it makes my palm uncomfortable due to generated heat
> (especially on the left side). Last but not least, if you buy a 15-inch
> MBP,
> its video card (even though it is 1600x) is 30% down-clocked in software
> (likely due to heat issues), so you are in essence getting a 1400x-ish
> card
> performace.
>
> NB: Both Windows and OSX have unsupported-may-kill-your-warranty-free
> OC-ing
> software tools and while they can do the trick, I personally don’t feel
> comfortable OC-ing a laptop that is already having serious heat issues.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ico
>


March 6, 2007 | 8:10 pm



ico
March 6, 2007 | 10:28 pm

> Hi Ico,
> I see what you’re saying.
> Let me ask you: what version of MBP do you own?

First gen. Latest firmware.

> Do you know that some overheating problems with macbookpros can be solved
> upgrading to the latest firmware?

No change. I actually have a small applet in OSX which keeps fans running at
all times (although lower speed so that I don’t have to listen to the
noise), and my MBP’s cpu temp never drops below 50 Celsius (122F). My guess
is that the case temp is not much lower than that because it truly is
scalding hot.

> As regards resuming, I never do that. When I’ve finished working, I just
> shut down the machine and that’s all. Never had problems.

This is not suspend. This is "hibernate," meaning it shuts machine
completely down and dumps memory contents to HD with 0% battery usage and
when you start it back up, at least on regular HW Windoze, it resumes within
5-10 seconds depending upon the speed of your HD (less so on your memory).
Very useful when finishing a task is not an option and resetting your
working environment is a total pain. Mac has this as well but it cannot be
explicitly invoked (AFAIK, please correct me if I am wrong). Rather, it does
this when you are about to run out of battery in which case standby/sleep
won’t cut it, and then upon subsequent restart the boot sequence will be
noticeably different signifying resuming from the deep
sleep/hibernate/whatever is the official Apple name for this.

> Anyway I would be curious to know if it’s possible to upgrade the drivers
> of
> the Ati x1600 using the pc version downloaded from Ati website.. (and this
> also for the other components..)

For Windows you can try Omega drivers, they are usually much better than
vanilla ATI’s as far as customization is concerned. Still they do not
address the fundamental issues with ATI’s generally crappy history of poor
drivers (i.e. their OpenGL 2.x implementation misses 20% of the API), since
the Omega drivers do not backwards engineer core libs, but rather simply
enhance customization options and provide better defaults.

Other than that, generally ATI and Nvidia do not provide vanilla drivers for
mobile GPUs. Not sure if this is a legal issue or something else, but Omega
drivers are pretty much latest vanilla drivers with alterations which allow
it for the driver to be installed on a mobile device as well (at your own
risk, of course).

Either way, none of these generally solve the aforesaid problem favorably as
you are either overclocking the card over the factory spec (which was set
there for a reason) and are also doing a darn good job of possibly voiding
your warranty, or you are purchasing something that does not work as
advertised. The end result is that various (usually more bulky and less
visually appealing) Windows laptops can score 4,100+ on the 3D Mark 2005
bench test with identical hardware (Windows-only test but *should* be OS
agnostic figures), while MBP (15.4-inch) does only ~2,500.

FWIW, 17-inch MBP is not down-clocked (likely due to large heat-dissipating
surface which allows for better cooling).

Bes wishes,

Ico



ico
March 6, 2007 | 10:56 pm


March 7, 2007 | 1:41 am


March 7, 2007 | 9:45 am

I am in the same boat, examining laptops with the goal of buying one. Here in Spain they sell a laptop by LG with almost exactly the same specs as a MBP. (If I remember correctly, its hard-disc may be a few GB smaller…) It is even white. Guess what? It costs the same as well, perhaps even a tad more, depending on where you buy the mac. This seems to be the same for all of the PC’s exhibiting hardware in the MBP range. I’ve worked with both PC’s and Mac’s with Max/MSP and Jitter and never had any notable problems. If problems arise, then they are with the soundcards or cameras I connect to the computers, and the solutions are always relatively easy to find.
I suppose that if someone doesn’t want to fool around much with configuring the computer to be a trustworthy performance tool, then one computer may be easier to start with than another; but that would be like a guitarrist who doesn’t like to tune their instrument, and probably wouldn’t be using Max/MSP anyway.

Since I cannot find any big difference in specs or price, I will opt for the MBP. There is more information and help on the web for getting certain things done.


March 7, 2007 | 11:55 am

Hi Ico,
I knew that first generation Macbookpros had overheating problems. Even 17"
version had them, but I read many people got better results with latest
firmware.
However, core 2 duo MBpros are far way better, especially 17" versions, as
you say.

I know about Omega drivers for Ati mobile graphic cards, but never tried
them. Have you?
I saw that ther aren’t recent Omega drivers for Nvidia cards..
I bet they are good driver, but whether to use them or not it depends on
what you usually do with your computer. Doing some stuff with Max Msp or
sequencing with Nuendo doesn’t imply a large use of graphic resources. Am I
wrong?
Otherwise these activities imply a lot of processing power, especially for
real time applications in Max. MBP shouldn’t give you problems with that..
Best

Carlo

—– Original Message —–
From: "Ivica Ico Bukvic"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2007 11:28 PM
Subject: RE: [maxmsp] Laptop for Audio Applications

>> Hi Ico,
>> I see what you’re saying.
>> Let me ask you: what version of MBP do you own?
>
> First gen. Latest firmware.
>
>> Do you know that some overheating problems with macbookpros can be solved
>> upgrading to the latest firmware?
>
> No change. I actually have a small applet in OSX which keeps fans running
> at
> all times (although lower speed so that I don’t have to listen to the
> noise), and my MBP’s cpu temp never drops below 50 Celsius (122F). My
> guess
> is that the case temp is not much lower than that because it truly is
> scalding hot.
>
>> As regards resuming, I never do that. When I’ve finished working, I just
>> shut down the machine and that’s all. Never had problems.
>
> This is not suspend. This is "hibernate," meaning it shuts machine
> completely down and dumps memory contents to HD with 0% battery usage and
> when you start it back up, at least on regular HW Windoze, it resumes
> within
> 5-10 seconds depending upon the speed of your HD (less so on your memory).
> Very useful when finishing a task is not an option and resetting your
> working environment is a total pain. Mac has this as well but it cannot be
> explicitly invoked (AFAIK, please correct me if I am wrong). Rather, it
> does
> this when you are about to run out of battery in which case standby/sleep
> won’t cut it, and then upon subsequent restart the boot sequence will be
> noticeably different signifying resuming from the deep
> sleep/hibernate/whatever is the official Apple name for this.
>
>> Anyway I would be curious to know if it’s possible to upgrade the drivers
>> of
>> the Ati x1600 using the pc version downloaded from Ati website.. (and
>> this
>> also for the other components..)
>
> For Windows you can try Omega drivers, they are usually much better than
> vanilla ATI’s as far as customization is concerned. Still they do not
> address the fundamental issues with ATI’s generally crappy history of poor
> drivers (i.e. their OpenGL 2.x implementation misses 20% of the API),
> since
> the Omega drivers do not backwards engineer core libs, but rather simply
> enhance customization options and provide better defaults.
>
> Other than that, generally ATI and Nvidia do not provide vanilla drivers
> for
> mobile GPUs. Not sure if this is a legal issue or something else, but
> Omega
> drivers are pretty much latest vanilla drivers with alterations which
> allow
> it for the driver to be installed on a mobile device as well (at your own
> risk, of course).
>
> Either way, none of these generally solve the aforesaid problem favorably
> as
> you are either overclocking the card over the factory spec (which was set
> there for a reason) and are also doing a darn good job of possibly voiding
> your warranty, or you are purchasing something that does not work as
> advertised. The end result is that various (usually more bulky and less
> visually appealing) Windows laptops can score 4,100+ on the 3D Mark 2005
> bench test with identical hardware (Windows-only test but *should* be OS
> agnostic figures), while MBP (15.4-inch) does only ~2,500.
>
> FWIW, 17-inch MBP is not down-clocked (likely due to large
> heat-dissipating
> surface which allows for better cooling).
>
> Bes wishes,
>
> Ico
>


March 7, 2007 | 12:02 pm


March 7, 2007 | 2:16 pm



ico
March 7, 2007 | 2:33 pm



ico
March 7, 2007 | 2:44 pm

> Hi Ico,
> I knew that first generation Macbookpros had overheating problems. Even
> 17"
> version had them, but I read many people got better results with latest
> firmware.
> However, core 2 duo MBpros are far way better, especially 17" versions, as
> you say.

Well, that’s great. Now where do sign to get a check from Apple for being
their perpetual beta tester, or even better, how do I get my MBP replaced
for one of the core2duo models… Just kidding ;-)

In the good ole’ days when Dell was worth something (1999-ish), I remember
having a Dell Inspiron which I bought refurbished and when it broke, I got a
total replacement overnighted which had 2x CPU speed and 2x memory. I also
have fond memories of upgrading its GPU twice from ATI Rage 128 to
Geforce2go and eventually to Geforce4go. All that without voiding warranty.
Now that was one heck of a laptop service…

> —
> I know about Omega drivers for Ati mobile graphic cards, but never tried
> them. Have you?

Yes. IMHO, they are better. YMMV.

> I saw that ther aren’t recent Omega drivers for Nvidia cards..

Not sure. Vanilla Nvidia drivers are not nearly as bad as ATI (again IMHO),
so I never resorted to looking for Omega version. I actually did not even
know there was one.

> I bet they are good driver, but whether to use them or not it depends on

Well, Omega drivers are in essence vanilla driver with better default
settings and more customization options. Omega is simply one guy hacking
away at the ATI’s released drivers in his spare time.

> what you usually do with your computer. Doing some stuff with Max Msp or
> sequencing with Nuendo doesn’t imply a large use of graphic resources. Am
> I
> wrong?
> Otherwise these activities imply a lot of processing power, especially for
> real time applications in Max. MBP shouldn’t give you problems with that..

Jitter+OpenGL?

Best wishes,

Ico


March 8, 2007 | 6:30 am

Tristram Cox schrieb:
> I’m with Jean on this one, if you can get a macbook pro, it just wont
> go wrong, otherwise I’ve heard of a few people using sony Vaeo’s -
> but as a mac user you know what i’d use ;)

I have heard of more problems with Sony Vaios than any other brand, they
look nice though (If you don’t need to rely on them ;-)…

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com



f.e
March 8, 2007 | 8:51 am



_j
March 8, 2007 | 9:10 am

sony = bad.


March 8, 2007 | 11:04 am



ico
March 8, 2007 | 4:33 pm

> Hi Ico,
> what about a Nvidia Quadro then? Could it be better with Jitter than a
> regular Ati x1XXX or Nvidia Geforce?
> Best
>
> Carlo

In theory yes, *much* better. In practice, it depends a lot on how Nvidia
implements the driver (on Windows Quadro in some tests is actually slower
than Geforce series, while a lot faster in other– IIRC you could in the
past install slightly altered Geforce driver onto them, but am not sure what
that would do to the overall performance).

Best wishes,

Ico


March 8, 2007 | 8:09 pm

So what about Toshiba?


March 8, 2007 | 9:23 pm


March 8, 2007 | 10:21 pm

Get a great Pc Lappers, not a Mac book. If you want osx you can get it running on a pc as long as your cpu is sse2 capable…which im pretty sure all mobile chips are cept teh celeron M’s (don’t even know if they are still used). I use a lame HP nx6110 for audio and its great. i’ve never had any problems with max, Some of my reacktor and Live6 stuff has glitched when alot is being used. The thing with all laptops is that the sound cards suck…even the mac book ones. So i would advise you get an external card anyway.

HP suck for costermer service and their power supplies die. Sony Vios are pretty awsome but are terribly over priced and a bit poncy. ROCK make great laptops but are aimed more at gaming. Some of the Fujitsu stuff is quite good now. And the asus lappers are good.

The one great thing about Mac books is that its easy to get OSx runnin gon them…being a Mac. Plus you can run vista/xp through boot camp or parallals and the same with Linux. OSx is pretty much just a shiny linux though…but i suppose the mac only appications can be ok.

If your a PC fan though just stick to them. They are all equals now anyway after Apple bowed down to Intel



_j
March 9, 2007 | 2:51 am

Check out the fujitsu lifebooks. They’re pretty neato.



_j
March 9, 2007 | 2:52 am

Or IBM thinkpads.


March 13, 2007 | 9:50 pm

Macca schrieb:
> Get a great Pc Lappers, not a Mac book. If you want osx you can get
> it running on a pc as long as your cpu is sse2 capable…

Please explain that, how???

The other way round yes, with bootcamp…

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com



_j
March 13, 2007 | 10:10 pm

stefan: obviously l33t h4x0r skillz are required.



ico
March 13, 2007 | 10:22 pm

> stefan: obviously l33t h4x0r skillz are required.

http://www.osx86project.org/
(not sure if it is legal, and no, I haven’t tried it)

Ivica Ico Bukvic, D.M.A.
Composition, Music Technology, CCTAD, and CHCI
Virginia Tech
Dept. of Music – 0240
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-1137
(540) 231-5034 (fax)
ico@vt.edu

http://www.music.vt.edu/people/faculty/bukvic/


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